Now that the federal budget melodrama is in intermission, it would be a good time for leaders on the Hill and in the White House to read Bill Richardson’s take on making a deal all sides can live with [“Getting a deal, with dictators or Congress,” Outlook, Oct. 13].

These manufactured near-crises are not over, just on break. It’s time for all involved to get out of the spotlight, listen to each other and make decisions for the benefit of the nation as a whole, so that come next January, February and September, we don’t have to go through this all over again.

Joye F. Jones, Hyattsville

A large number of voters are disgusted with the performance of both parties and need a way to effectively register this dissatisfaction. What if voters had an opportunity to support candidates who pledged, for example, to eliminate the need for debt ceiling votes and who backed the Simpson-Bowles “grand bargain”? Such candidates could receive a “center” designation and this would give donors (big and small) and voters a choice they want and need.

If things are truly broken in Washington, couldn’t this be a way to begin the repair job?

Alan Ferber, Alexandria